Journalist Sibila Lind is pictured at the prize-giving ceremony at the Rotondes on 9 December 2019
Amnesty Luxembourg awarded their 2019 human rights prize to the authors of a portrait of a fully employed Luxembourger living in a homeless shelter.
“A vida de Claude”, by Paula Telo Alves and Sibila Lind, followed former banker Claude Bintner as he works in a warehouse during the day and sleeps in the Wanteraktioun emergency shelter in Findel.
Originally published on 8 March 2019, in Portuguese-language newspaper Contacto, Claude’s story is not isolated. According to Lind, he was one of 30 people at the hostel who had a job but not a home.
“It might be easier to find a job than a home, as Claude’s story demonstrates. Housing is a basic human right--it should be guaranteed to everyone. This prize is dedicated to Claude and anyone who doesn’t have a home,” Telo Alves said in a speech read at the prizegiving on Monday by Lind.
Lind reflected on the project, saying it “was nice to have enough time to really enter his life. I think when we talk about the problem of society, we should give it time, we should humanise it, we should give it a story, a face, a voice,” she said.
Finalists for the prize included Sarah München's “Mittendrin und nicht dabei” (In the middle of it and not with it) for Télécran and Petz Bartz’ “Vu Meespelt an den Jihad”, broadcast by RTL Télévision, in which he interviewed suspected Islamic State fighter Steve Duarte.
The prizegiving at the Rotondes on Monday evening was followed by a talk from Danish journalist Henrik Grunnet about constructive journalism. In his presentation, Gunnet argued for a shift to solutions-based journalism, facilitating discussions around a social problem instead of widening divisions.
“We say that our journalism is a response to the increasing tabloidisation, sensationalism and negativity bias of news media today. It’s an approach where we aim to provide audiences with a fair, accurate and contextualised picture of the world, without over-emphasising the negative and what’s going wrong,” Gunnet said, adding: “A healthy dose of negativity is necessary. But, the chronic over-exposure of negative constitutes a hidden media bias which has an erosive effect on the societies we live in.”